Keeping little ones busy

Can I watch something? Can I have a snack from the cupboard? I’m bored. I don’t want to do this anymore. Can we play outside? I want to play at ‘so and so’s’ house.

It’s such a strange time and hopefully a once in a lifetime occurrence. We are confined to the four walls of our home. My children haven’t left the house in over a week (we stopped taking them to the shops as they couldn’t grasp social distancing and wanted to touch everything and everyone). 

We’re all speaking a new language and every second sentence we mention social distancing, covid19, ‘the virus’, isolation, flattening the curve, key workers, stockpiling, and super-spreaders.  Children of all ages can pick up on our concern. It’s so important to make them feel secure at home.

I’ve broken so many of my house rules. We can now scoot round the living room and on the balcony. We can remove the cushions from the sofa to make dens and to dive into them. We can flick paint (as long as it’s in the bathroom) and guess what - lunch doesn't have to be served at the table. We had a picnic under the dining table today.

Two weeks ago, I was definitely trying to compete with all the super parents out there. I set up a schedule of activities that included 8 things a day for the kids to do. I was sucking any fun out of being at home – mainly for myself. For some reason, it seemed like a total fail to say, play in your playroom whilst I do my e-mails or rotate the washing. 

This week, I still created a schedule but this time, it included a meal planner (meal planning saves so much time in the long run) and also time aside for me to work and to play with the kids. What we do when it's time to play will largely depend on what they ask to do.

A few of the simple things we’ve done this week:

  1. Made yoghurt paint
  2. Baked some snacks – porridge bars and sweet potato pancakes
  3. Jumped on the trampoline
  4. Zoom called a friend
  5. Made a den and told a scary story in it
  6. Played indoor hopscotch by writing the hopscotch board in chalk
  7. Cut out felt shapes to make animals
  8. Built lego towers to count
  9. Played i-spy (we use sounds for the 4-year-old and colours for the 2 year old)
  10. We tried putting chocolate chips on little ladybird bodies to count their dots – they got eaten instead.

From the team here at eco rascals, we hope you are in good health and staying safe (and sane) at this confusing and testing time for us all. Please comment below with any good simple activities we can do at home which doesn’t involve hours of prep or a trip to the supermarket!

Featured image credit goes to @baby_n_me - follow her on Instagram. 

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